Research Projects


CAD-ASC has received funding from the Federal Department of Justice. The goal of our project is to gather information from D/deaf, deaf-blind, and deaf people who have additional disabilities, about their experiences with the justice system, which includes the police, lawyers, courts, prisons, halfway houses, social workers, and/or parole officers. 

CAD-ASC is conducting a survey to gather your stories and experiences so that we can identify the problems with the current system, and to develop strategies that can make the judicial system more accessible. 

If you are Deaf/deaf, deaf-blind and deaf people who have additional disabilities; hearing people working in the Canadian judicial system; and Canadian resident who is 18 years or older, we would like to get your feedback! 

Here is the information about our project: with a direct link to the survey:


Le projet vise à recueillir des expériences vécues par des personnes sourdes, sourdes aveugles et sourdes ayant aussi d’autres incapacités sur leurs expériences avec le système de justice canadien. Ces expériences comprennent des situations vécues avec les corps policiers, les avocats, les tribunaux, les prisons, les maisons de transition, les travailleurs sociaux et les agents de libération conditionnelle. Ce projet est financé par l’ASC-CAD qui a reçu des fonds du ministère fédéral de la Justice. 

L'ASC-CAD mène un le sondage pour de rassembler différentes histoires et expériences afin d’identifier les enjeux et les limites du système judiciaire canadien. Ces faits vécus permettront d’améliorer l’offre d’un système judiciaire plus accessible et équitable pour les personnes sourdes. 

Si vous êtes personnes sourdes, sourdes aveugles et sourdes ayant également d’autres incapacités; personnes entendantes travaillant dans le système judiciaire canadien et résident canadien qui avoir 18 ans et plus, nous aimerions avoir votre avis! 

Voici les informations notre sur le projet:çais avec un lien direct à le sondage: 

#JusticeCanada #Deaf #Sourds #CanadaJustice

Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) – American Sign Language Version

The Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE) (Folstein, M, 1975) is a screening tool used to assess cognitive impairment and can be used over time to evaluate cognitive decline. The Canadian Association of the Deaf estimates that 357,000 Canadians are culturally and linguistically Deaf (2015).  In 2011, the Alzheimer Society of Canada estimated that 14.9 per cent of Canadians 65 and older were living with dementia (2012). As the number of Canadian people being diagnosed with dementia is on the increase, and as the Deaf community ages, it is imperative that cultural and linguistic assessment tools be developed to meet the needs of individuals who use sign language. With that in mind, we have developed an electronic version of the MMSE in American Sign Language (ASL) that is now being administered to participants in our study.  Administration of the test requires that either the clinician be fluent in sign language, or that a qualified interpreter be present.  Using an electronic version ensures that the instructions and questions are delivered in a manner that does not vary between participants.

The Effects of Vicarious Trauma Among Visual Language Interpreters  

Visual language interpreters working in mental health settings are often exposed to highly stressful and traumatic material. Repeated exposure to this material can lead to vicarious trauma, described as the accumulation of empathetic engagement with another person’s traumatic experiences (McCann & Pearlman, 1990). The consequences of vicarious trauma are serious and include negatively affecting an individual's values and beliefs, interpersonal relationships, and well-being. 

To investigate if vicarious trauma was affecting visual language interpreters, a survey study was done with 75 Canadian ASL sign language interpreters assessing empathy, anxiety, professional quality of life and overall life satisfaction. We are currently analyzing the overall results of this research after which we hope to run the same study with international visual language interpreters.

Mental Health of DHH Children and Youth in Ontario

The objective of this study was to obtain the prevalence rates of mental health disorders of Deaf, deaf, and hard of hearing children in mainstream school settings in Ontario.  190 teachers were asked to complete the Achenbach Teacher’s Report Form regarding their deaf or hard of hearing student.  We are currently analyzing the results of this study.  We hope to build on this study by recruiting  parents’ perspectives using the Achenbach Child Behaviour Checklist.

Autism and Deafness 

Dr. Chovaz collaborated with Dr. Ken McIsaac (Western Faculty of Computer Engineering) to better understand the disruptive behaviours often experienced by DHH children with autism.  We developed a digital monitoring system to help parents and educators reduce unwanted behavioural outbursts commonly observed in children diagnosed with ASD.   This study is currently on hold as we seek funding to advance our protoype to a second generation stage of technology.